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I debated whether to write this post. But in the end, I want to keep it real. Here goes nothing…
This winter was very long. I mean, really, really really long. It snowed every other day and it we were stuck in the house most of the winter. I have three little boys that keep me very busy. All. The. Time. I love them dearly, but their energy is endless. I only wish that same energy was contagious.
So back to the winter. We had so many days off from school which meant I couldn’t exercise. And what are you supposed to do when you are snowed in? Even if your not a food blogger like me, you want to cook and bake, right? Well that’s what I did. All winter. And being the responsible recipe developer that I am, I HAD to taste (almost) everything to make sure all of my recipes were delicious. And they were (thank goodness).
And now brings on the confession… I ate a lot this winter. No, I wasn’t eating Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets (gasp). I was eating healthy foods, just too much. I started to emotionally eat when I was stressed (which was a lot).
Stress…everyone gets stressed at times. My family went through an incredibly stressful and difficult time. My husband got laid off quite unexpectedly. You hear about it all the time. But when it happens to you, you are never really prepared for it. My kids were 2, 5 and 7 at the time and we were scared out of our minds. One thing you should know about us (really my husband, I tend to enjoy shopping 😉 ) is that we are savers. We were fortunate to save a good amount of money, but little did we know it would 2 years before my husband landed a permanent job again. So yes, we had money saved, but it was stressful. Like pull-your-hair-out-and cry-stressful. In those two years I also wrote two cookbooks (under ridiculous deadlines) and had no help with my kids. It was hard. And I turned into the person that I counseled my clients about. The Emotional Eater.
Like I said, I was still eating healthy foods, but just too much of it. And the winter was long. WAY. TOO. LONG.
I am a runner by nature, and it has been a huge stress reliever for me. I also take my beloved Bar Method classes where I have the privilege of working as their nutritionist. The Bar Method in Montclair, NJ is my happy place. I get to work with these amazing women (all of which are my friends) at this beautiful studio and have an insanely hard (and awesome) workout. Running and Bar Method make me happy and help me to forget about all the worries I have at home.
One day, on one of my long runs, the back of my knee started to hurt a little bit. Seriously, just a title bit. About 2 minutes later, I felt something pop and my leg gave out on me. I had to limp all the way home. I knew something was wrong. It took me a few weeks to admit that I had to call a doctor. I had stopped running and taking Bar Method classes cold turkey. And it was difficult for me. The stress relievers that I relied on and looked forward to were stolen from me.
I took 2 months off of exercising. That’s a lot for me. I exercised during all of my pregnancies and this was probably the longest I’d taken off in years. So I was stressed out but had no way to release it. It wasn’t easy. I had to start working more than I ever wanted to since my husband wasn’t working full time AND take care of my 3 (very busy) kids with no help. I was burnt out. I went to the doctor and was waiting to get my MRI on my knee to see if I needed surgery, when all of a sudden I got the best phone call of my life. My husband got a job! We were THRILLED and life started to feel normal again. My MRI results came back and I don’t need surgery! Life was good and there really was a light at the end of this very, very long tunnel.
I picked myself up (both literally and figuratively) and started my Bar Method classes again and started to run (ok, slowly jog) again with the green light from my doctor. I stopped all of that emotional eating (damn homemade granola!) and I am back on track. It felt great. And life is back to normal. My perspective has changed. And I can finally take that deep exhale that I waited two years to take. It feels amazing.
I thought it would be appropriate to share one of my favorite smoothies that always helps get me back on track. I make this every day around 3:30 most days when my kids are snacking and doing their homework. It helps prevent me from wanting to eat my kids’ snacks or the whole entire container of homemade granola. And it tastes great too.
My Favorite Smoothie
- 4 large handfuls of organic baby spinach
- 2 large handfuls of organic kale
- 1/2 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop protein powder I use Sunwarrior or Vega
- 1 sliced green apple
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Place all of the ingredients in blender in the order listed above. Blend until smooth.
Thanks for listening to my very long story. I am one of the lucky ones whose family’s story has a happy ending. I appreciate every single one of you and thank you all for your support. Count your blessings.